Is your mother okay? Here are 4 tips to make sure you understand her physical and mental condition when you are together:
- Watch Your Mother. How is she walking? Is she moving slower than the last time you saw her? How does she look? Is she clean and groomed? We don’t mean that she has to be dressed like June Cleaver, but you’ll be able to tell a lot by her appearance.
- Listen to Your Mother. When she speaks, is she as clear as she was the last time you saw her? Does she have a hard time remembering things that happened recently? Is she starting to repeat herself, even in the same conversation? The changes might be slight, but it is good to keep note of them to see a progression. One forgetful moment does not mean someone has dementia, but you will be able to see a pattern over time.
- Check out Your Mother’s Kitchen and Bathroom. Is there healthy food in the refrigerator? Is the food that is there still fresh or should it have been thrown out weeks ago? In her medicine cabinet, what prescriptions are there? Are they pills that she should be taking? Based on the fill date, try to tell if they are being taken regularly. Also look to see if there are any rugs that could be a tripping hazard. Be wary of any rugs in front of sinks or even in hallways.
- Ask Your Mother How She is Feeling. While you are talking, ask your mother how she is doing; there is nothing wrong with just asking the question. Sometimes a parent just needs a little encouragement to talk about things. She may say she’s fine and based on what you see, you believe her. You may also want to question things she says if it doesn’t match up with what you see.
If your mother is still driving, ask where she has been and what time of day. Ask what route she takes to get there. She should know exactly how she gets around.
Ask about any medications she is taking as well. Hopefully she has a weekly pill case so it is easy for her to track which medications should be taken each day (or at certain times of the day). Make sure that case is full when you leave and she clearly understands what she needs to take and when.
At Assisting Hands Home Care we can provide your mother with safe transportation to and from doctors and other appointments, grocery shopping or other errands. Whether you need someone to be with her during the day, in the evening or overnight, we can accommodate your needs. You will sleep better knowing that your mother isn’t home alone when she needs help with medication, fall prevention, personal care, eating or other needs.